Documenting 4th Ward History in Raleigh, NC

Article Contributed by Haley Kinsler

Attendees at the January meeting of the 4th Ward Neighborhood Association

Students in the linguistics department, Brody McCurdy and Haley Kinsler, have begun work in partnership with local residents on an oral history project that seeks to represent the history and experiences of residents from the 4th Ward neighborhood, a Black community in Raleigh that was displaced due to an urban renewal process that was conducted in the mid-20th century. As part of this project, students have partnered with local activist Octavia Rainey and members of the 4th Ward Neighborhood Association to begin development of a website and documentary that will feature residents’ stories, records retrieved from the City of Raleigh’s archives, and historical information on the neighborhood and the urban renewal process.

The project is currently in its early stages, and students are actively recruiting interviewees who grew up in the 4th Ward or were directly impacted by the urban renewal process to share their experiences, stories, and memories of the 4th Ward community. The linguistics department will be hosting a group interview session on Saturday, April 13th at 10:00 a.m. in Caldwell Lounge, located in the Caldwell building of NC State’s north campus. Any residents from the 4th Ward who are interested in participating in an interview on that day or who would like to get involved in the project are encouraged to email Haley Kinsler ( for more information.

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